Are you tired of struggling to get the perfect texture in your keto recipes? Look no further than xanthan gum – the secret ingredient that will revolutionize your cooking! Xanthan gum is a food additive that’s been around since the 1950s, but it’s still a little-known ingredient in many home kitchens. Derived from fermented plant bacteria, this magical powder has the ability to thicken and emulsify dressings, sauces, and even gluten-free flours. In this post, we’ll dive into the many benefits of xanthan gum in keto cooking and show you how to use it in a variety of delicious low-carb recipes.
What is xanthan gum?
Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide that’s produced by the fermentation of Xanthomonas campestris bacteria. It’s a white powder that’s often used as a food additive to thicken and stabilize products.
Xanthan gum is a common ingredient in processed foods, such as salad dressings, sauces, and baked goods. However, it’s also a useful ingredient in low-carb cooking as it adds thickness without adding carbs.
Xanthan gum is gluten-free, making it a popular ingredient in gluten-free baking. It can also be used in vegan cooking as an egg substitute.
Xanthan gum is a white and odourless powder, with similar sized granules and texture to corn flour. It means that xanthan gum’s presence often goes unnoticed. It is often added to commercial dressings, vinaigrettes and ketchup to stop them from splitting on supermarket shelves. It’s also added to ice creams, as xanthan gum slows the formation of crystals during the freezing process, ensuring that the end product has a smooth and creamy mouth feel.
Xanthan gum became more prevalent in restaurant kitchens as molecular gastronomy grew in popularity. Just the smallest amount is enough to stabilise a foam, gel or emulsion. The main reason that xanthan gum is now creeping into home kitchens too is the rise in gluten-free baking. When white flour is substituted with a gluten-free alternative, then it relies on the addition of xanthan gum to bind together the ingredients. Otherwise, cooks will end up with brittle crumbs, rather than the sponge or loaf intended.
Xanthan gum used to be considered something of a specialist ingredient, but as supermarket gluten-free ranges are growing, it’s becoming more and more widely available. Look in health food shops, or baking aisles in big supermarkets, as well as specialist chef websites.
What are the benefits of using xanthan gum in keto cooking?
Xanthan gum can help improve the texture of keto recipes by providing a smooth and creamy consistency without adding carbs.
Xanthan gum can be used to thicken sauces, soups, and gravies without adding flour or cornstarch, which are high in carbs.
Xanthan gum can be used in low-carb baking recipes to give them a better texture. It can help prevent baked goods from becoming crumbly or dense, which is a common problem when using almond flour or coconut flour.
How to use xanthan gum in keto recipes?
Xanthan gum should be mixed with a liquid before adding it to a recipe. This helps to prevent clumping and ensures that it’s evenly distributed throughout the dish.
Only a small amount of xanthan gum is needed in most recipes. A little goes a long way, so it’s important not to add too much.
Xanthan gum works best in acidic liquids, such as vinegar or lemon juice. If using it in a recipe that doesn’t contain acid, you may need to add a small amount of acid to activate the thickening properties of the xanthan gum.
How to use xanthan gum in dressings and sauces?
Xanthan gum can be used to emulsify and thicken dressings and sauces. To use it in a dressing, start by whisking together the vinegar or lemon juice with any herbs or seasonings. Then, slowly sprinkle in the xanthan gum while whisking vigorously. This will help prevent clumping and ensure that the xanthan gum is evenly distributed. Finally, whisk in the oil until the dressing is well combined and emulsified.
When using xanthan gum in a sauce, start by making a roux with butter and almond flour or coconut flour. Whisk in the liquid, such as chicken or beef broth, and then sprinkle in a small amount of xanthan gum while whisking continuously. This will help thicken the sauce and give it a smooth, creamy texture.
How to use xanthan gum in baking?
Xanthan gum can be used in low-carb baking recipes to improve the texture of the final product. When baking with almond flour or coconut flour, add a small amount of xanthan gum to the recipe to help bind the ingredients together and prevent the baked goods from becoming crumbly.
Start by adding 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of flour used in the recipe. Mix it in with the dry ingredients before adding the wet ingredients. Be careful not to add too much xanthan gum, as it can make the baked goods gummy or slimy if too much is added.
How to use xanthan gum in other keto recipes?
Xanthan gum can be used in a variety of other keto recipes, such as low-carb soups, stews, and gravies. It can also be used to thicken homemade keto ice cream or yogurt.
When using xanthan gum in a recipe that doesn’t contain acid, such as a soup or stew, you may need to add a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar to activate the thickening properties of the xanthan gum.
Always start with a small amount of xanthan gum and add more as needed. Remember, a little goes a long way!
Benefits of using xanthan gum in keto cooking
Xanthan gum is a versatile ingredient that can help improve the texture and mouthfeel of keto recipes. It can help prevent baked goods from becoming crumbly or falling apart, and can help thicken sauces and dressings without the need for high-carb thickeners.
Xanthan gum is also low in calories and carbs, making it a great addition to a keto diet. It’s often used as a replacement for cornstarch or flour in recipes, which can be high in carbs and contribute to blood sugar spikes.
Safety and potential side effects of using xanthan gum
Xanthan gum is generally considered safe for most people when used in small amounts. However, some people may experience digestive issues such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea when consuming large amounts of xanthan gum.
It’s important to use xanthan gum in moderation and to be aware of any potential digestive issues. Start with a small amount in your recipes and gradually increase as needed.
Where to buy xanthan gum?
Xanthan gum can be found at most grocery stores, health food stores, or online retailers. Look for it in the baking or gluten-free sections of the store, or check with a store employee if you’re unsure where to find it.
When buying xanthan gum, make sure to check the ingredient list and avoid any brands that contain added sugars or fillers.
I use Amazon to buy mine!
How to use xanthan gum in keto cooking?
Xanthan gum can be used in a variety of keto recipes, including baked goods, sauces, and dressings. It’s typically used as a thickener or binder to help improve the texture of these recipes.
To use xanthan gum in baking, you’ll typically add it to the dry ingredients and mix well. For sauces and dressings, you can sprinkle xanthan gum into the liquid while whisking or blending to help thicken it.
It’s important to use xanthan gum in moderation, as using too much can result in a slimy or gummy texture.
Tips for using xanthan gum in keto cooking
Start with a small amount of xanthan gum and gradually increase as needed. This will help you avoid using too much and ending up with a slimy or gummy texture.
Mix xanthan gum with other dry ingredients before adding it to a recipe, as this will help prevent clumping.
When using xanthan gum in sauces or dressings, it’s best to blend or whisk it in to ensure that it’s evenly distributed.
Recipes with Xanthan Gum
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